Upcoming group gardening sessions

Upcoming session Date: 9 May 2015 (Sat), 9.30 to 11am We will be focusing on breaking down the material in our compost heap and making it into “layers”; carefully trimming the pumpkin plant which now looks more like leaves on a pond; and maybe transplanting plants donated by neighbours. If you are coming, do leave […]

9 May Update ~ Creating a new compost heap

Our main task for today was to break down our huge heap of garden waste, and create a new compost heap. We had a grand today of four individuals – quite a huge heap for only 4 persons, but anyway let’s get down to work!

A heap of garden waste waiting to be broken down to smaller pieces

A heap of garden waste waiting to be broken down to smaller pieces

To create a new compost heap, we first started by creating a base layer of broken dried twigs. These twigs are readily available at our garden because of the nearby trees in the park, and were easily broken as they were dried in the open for some time.

Base layer - broken twigs

Base layer – broken twigs

The next thing to do was to add dried leaves. These are also readily available in the park as the trees and bushes in the park shed a lot of leaves. Neighbour Dennis started explaining that normally, these dried leaves would still be considered the “green” component of the compost heap as they are formerly living green leaves. However, as we have a lot of garden waste, these dried leaves can also be considered the “brown” component. This ignited a discussion on what “green” and “brown” is, and how much of “brown” we need to add versus the “green” component. Dennis mentioned that normally, the ratio is 1 brown to 3 green, but not many people actually understand what this ratio really means. 1 brown to 3 green is actually the same as 1 volume of brown to the same volume of green. As in, if you have a 1kg bag of “brown”, you need to add 1kg bag of “green” to meet the ratio. And not 1 brown, 3 green. Confused yet? ;)

Adding dried leaves to the heap

Adding dried leaves to the heap

After adding quite a significant amount of brown, we started the garden waste. There was quite a lot of stems from the passion fruit plant removed last weekend. We also added dried leaves from the banana and papaya plants.

The compost heap with garden waste added

The compost heap with garden waste added

After several layers of “greens” and “browns”, we have a new compost heap! There’s still more garden waste that we can add to this heap, but we hope that our layering has been done well, and it will start doing its good old composting work soon!

Meet our new compost heap!

Meet our new compost heap!

NTUC Income Run 350 stakeholders’ recognition

Neighbours Steven and Cuifen picked this up on behalf of the edible garden team at NTUC Income Run 350 stakeholders’ appreciation event this evening. This appreciation plaque recognises the efforts made by various neighbours to pull together information, plants and other materials to make our 1st booth outreach happen, despite the fact that we had less than 1 less advance notice to the event :)

Blog post on the event here

Run 350 stakeholders' recognition

Run 350 stakeholders’ recognition

26 Apr Update ~ Mulch area along the railing

We had wanted to create a mulch area along the railing for quite some time. It became a need as the park management feedback-ed that the landscape contractor had to do their duty (i..e. cut grass) and therefore our plants and signages were always at risk of being cut because they were inter-mixed with grass!

To make the contractor’s life easier and also our own, NParks got their landscape contractor to create a mulch area with the Park management’s supervision so that they can provide a visual demonstration of what they would like to see, and also ensure that the mulch area does not go too close to the  2 big Kapok trees in our garden area.

As this is a community garden, we agreed that the contractor will only do 1/2 to 2/3 of the railing length, and the rest should be left to be completed by the community. This is a good opportunity to bring neighbours & interested volunteers together! To support this, the park management kindly sponsored 10 sacks of compost for our use.

On this day, we had at least 9 volunteers, including 3 from outside our estate. Of these 3, 2 were from the west area, and 1 actually drove from north-east Singapore!

The tree logs that we collected from Choa Chu Kang park area some months back came in useful as visible barriers to the mulch area.

Apart from this mulch area, some of the volunteers also helped take down the passion fruit plant. Neighbours Mr Wong & Mr Teo were of the opinion that the plant is of no more use… as in it reached its capacity to fruit. Neighbours Dennis & Lydia disagreed saying that the passion fruit plant at their place continues to bear fruit some 5 years after it was planted. What to do when you have differing opinions like this? We agreed that the pergola looked like it was becoming unstable (the bamboo doesn’t last long when in contact with soil, rain and the weekly football), so the plant had to go anyway.

Here are some photos! :)

Volunteers Cuifen & Cheng Ai

Volunteers Cuifen & Cheng Ai

Mr Wong helping to take down the passion fruit plant

Mr Wong helping to take down the passion fruit plant

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Run 350

Run 350 was on 5th of April, and Pavilion’s edible garden was there with our own booth & tent in the ‘Food Security’ section of the Eco Village! In fact we had so much space that we decided to invite new ground-up initiative, Crop Things, to share the booth with us. Crop Things is about creating a food-scape of Singapore, through collective knowledge of Singapore residents and talking to gardeners and local food enthusiasts at edible gardens & farms. That we were in the ‘Food Security’ section made the link with Crop Things very tangible – forming a link between growing our own food at the local community level, to understanding how this also happening on a more regional and national scale.

As we were given less than 1 week notice really, it was a mad rush to try to see what we can bring and share at the event, and who can be present especially on a Sunday morning, from 6am to 12 noon!

Thankfully, even though we couldn’t have a group of neighbours present, we had various neighbours contributing ideas, photos, plants / fruits, etc. Some neighbours photographed the fruit enzyme / soup / etc that they made at home, with items grown from gardens, be it in their own home or the community garden. Others invited us to take photos of their plants at home, to share on their love for gardening and growing edible plants.

At the booth, we had neighbours Cuifen and Steven, as well as volunteers Suzanna, Hanzhong, and Babylyn.

It was a most tiring morning! We were open from 7am, and closed by 11am.

Here’s a collage of photos taken at the event!

Run 350 event

Run 350 event